Pulpit Story of God's Final Judgment
Scene (Part 1)
Pulpit Story of God's Final Judgment
Scene (Part 1)
Scene (Part 1)
"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Language Edited by Bruce Newton, Fort Mill, SC.
Christians don’t devote much thought to the topic of the final judgment of God, because it is not a big deal to them. They’ve convinced themselves they are exempt from the judgment. Christian liberals, argue that every person goes to heaven. Christian conservatives argue that every Christian goes to heaven. So, since both groups believe they will go to heaven no matter how they live, why worry about judgment? How bad, after all, could it be, since they get into heaven either way?
Recently, I read a story about the judgment of God; a story identical to one told me by a pastor eighteen years ago. This convincing but deceptive story has been in circulation for many years, and it unfortunately appears it will remain so. The story is convincing, and while completely false it is dangerously and subtly deceptive. If it was just another innocent fable, there would be no serious consequences, and it would matter little. This is not the case, however. This deceptive tale encourages people to live in complacency and sin. It encourages them to live in blissful ignorance, while this very ignorance brings upon them the wrath of God and their own eternal damnation. As I said before, the stakes are high. So, it is important that I explain to you the truth about the judgment according to the word of God. Only with the truth can you escape eternal damnation.
The judgment of God is real. It is coming for you and it is coming for me; it will not be avoided. Every one of us will have to face it. Romans 14:10 says: "...we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." This verse does not say we will stand before Christ so he can hand us our 'get out of hell free' cards. We will stand before Christ, and we will be judged. Most preachers do not teach this truth because the truth discourages people; it shows them their faults and this does not draw crowds because it’s not a ‘popular’ theme. Instead, preachers make up more comfortable stories embellished with a few carefully selected scripture snippets, so that Christians feel OK about them. That’s not the message you’ll read in this article, nor is it the message you’ll find in this website. Let me move now to this false story, and expose its deception to you by shining the light of truth on it. My intent is to teach you the truth in such a way that you may detect the errors in this and any other such stories.
Now, let us look into the story and look at the errors it contains.
The Christian fairy tale/fake story goes like this: After he had lived a decent life on earth, a Christian found himself standing before the judgment seat of God. He awaited God's decision regarding the eternal verdict for his soul. The judge, God the Father, ordered the proceedings to begin. Satan, the public prosecutor (as always, the accuser of the brethren), presented the extensive history of the Christian, showing the man had lived a life filled from start to finish with sin. Closing his arguments, Satan confidently demanded eternal death as the verdict. The Lord Jesus Christ (the savior), presented the arguments for the defense. He said, "Satan was correct in saying that this man lived a life of sin, and I don't deny any of these allegations. Yes, the wages of sin is death, and this sinner deserves to be punished. But, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life. He has accepted me as his Savior. So, he is mine. His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from me. This man is not to be given justice, but mercy. There is nothing else that needs to be done. I have done it all." On hearing the defense, the Judge gave the following verdict. "This man is free. The penalty for him is already paid in full. Case dismissed." The sinner was acquitted. The sinning Christian was saved from hell by our Saviour Jesus Christ. So ends the story.
Let's look at this story from today's perspective. Since most Christians commit sin, we identify us with this sinner. As we hear the judge's decision, we are uplifted, since we are all equally guilty of sin, and his acquittal applies equally to us. This story has a happy ending, so we are happy. Every sinning Christian is comforted, and the acceptability of continuing on in sin is confirmed. But this comfort is short lived; it is not the truth of God. Christians write many such stories and thereby deceive themselves in this and other creative ways, but none change the truth of God, and none are true.
God tells his workers to preach the word of God for doctrine. He further cautions them not to substitute stories for biblical doctrine. 2 Timothy 4 says: "2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." The word of God says that false Christians desire the comfort of stories (fables) rather than the uncomfortable reality of the word of God.
In this story, God the Father is the judge and Jesus Christ is the defense attorney. According to the Bible, this is false; the Lord Jesus Christ is our judge. He is the most righteous judge, who judges by truth and not by favor. John 5 says: "22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: … 27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." Revelation 16:7 says: "...Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments."
In the story Jesus Christ testifies that everything Satan said was true. But according to the Bible, Jesus Christ says Satan has no truth in him; he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 says: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
In this story, Satan is assigned the role of public prosecutor. The author probably got this idea from the fact that Satan is referred as the accuser of the brethren. "Revelation 12:10 says: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." It is true that, in Old Testament times, Satan was accusing the brethren during the period of time when he had access to heaven. But, Revelation 12:10tdoes not just refer to Satan as the accuser of our brethren; it also states that “the accuser of our brethren is cast down.” When was Satan cast down? Revelation 12:10 says he was cast down at the time of “the power of his Christ.” This ‘power of his Christ’ occurred at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2 says: "8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." So, the New Testament believers, do not have to face the accusations of Satan that Job (Reference Job 2:1-7) had to face. Satan was cast down at the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upon being cast down, Satan lost all access to heaven and to God; he has had no such access for the last two thousand years. He can never again accuse anyone before God.
In addition to having no access to God, Satan will no longer be around at the time of our judgment. This is because Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire before the judgment of Christ begins. "Revelation 20 says: "10) … the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." Most Christians think that Satan is the master of hell. Christians even think that Satan, as hell’s ruler, will have the power to punish Christians in hell. No, No, No!!! Satan will be punished in hell and he will be burned in the lake of fire for all his lies and deceptions. He will have no authority over hell; in fact, he will have no authority at all as he burns for all eternity.
We have shown that this story, while it may seem comforting, is filled with falsehoods, misleading statements, and outright lies. Stories like this are dangerous, leading Christians away from the truth. Stories like this are not only the outcome of ignorance, but also intentional fabrications of sin-loving false teachers who serve Satan. 2 Corinthians 11 says: "13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." Outwardly the authors of these false tales appear to serve God, when in truth they serve Satan, and work for nothing more than their own profit and fame. God will judge them for their deception at the end.
Satan is always glorified in false stories. Christians do not discern the deception, but believe these false stories. It is important for Christians to understand what the Bible says about Satan and his ways, so that they will not be misled by these false stories. If you like to know a few things about Satan, please look at these links: "Who is Satan", "Satan shows himself as God".
The word of God admonishes men of God to preach the word to reprove, rebuke, exhort with the doctrine of Jesus Christ. But the word of God also says that people will bring false preachers to teach them stories (fables), and these false teachers will turn the people away from the truth of God. How true is the word of God!!! 1 Peter 4:11 says: "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.…" 2 Timothy 4 says: "2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
The truth of God is not necessarily the things we believe because of our common sense. As we believe God, we should continue to study his word to obey the truth of God. If we continue to obey Jesus Christ, then we will become his disciples. Then, and only then, will we know his truth. This truth will set us free. John 8 says: "31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Evangelical formulas will set nobody free. Ceremonial or religious worships will set nobody free. Good (little white) lies will set nobody free. The truth of God, which will be understood by humble obedient people, will set them free. Matthew 1:21 says: "... call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." As we become free, we will live a holy life. For these, the judgment day will be a day of ceremony of rewards.
Let me remind you about the false story at the beginning of this article. The grand finale of that story is the following verdict: "This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed." This is a comforting Christian cliché, but it is not the truth of the Bible. Most Christians accept this cliché as the truth because they hear this idea repeated over and over in different forms.
The truth in this matter, according to the word of God, is this: All of us commit sin from our youth. So, we have to be delivered (saved) from our sins. We are saved by receiving the grace of God, and by receiving grace upon grace from God as the Spirit of God leads us. If we are led of the Spirit of God, we will be delivered from sin and we will become the sons of God. If we are sons of God, we are heirs of God and we will inherit the kingdom of God. Matthew 1:21 says: "…thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Romans 8 says: "13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
If we are his children, then for us, the judgment will be the ceremony of our official adoption into the family of God in heaven. God's children will look like the glorified Lord Jesus Christ, shining as the sun. This judgment will be a proclamation of rejoicing. 1 Corinthians 15 says: "54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Alleluia!
If you like to read part 2, please click here: "Part 2"
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